The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has Organised a 4 days trainer of trainees workshop for 19 selected prison officers in the Northern Sector.
The training was part of UNODC’s 3 years structured support scheme programme aimed at strengthening the adherence of the Ghana Prisons Service to the Nelson Mandela Rules, Prisoner classification ,Rehabilitation of inmates and Improving prison conditions. The training which took place at the Modern City Hotel in Tamale from Monday, 15th May to Thursday 18th May 2023, was sponsored by the United States of America’s Embassy in Ghana.
Nineteen (19) Prison officers drawn from selected prison establishments in the Northern sector benefited from the training and the participating Prison establishments were Wa Central Prison, Bawku Local Prison , Gambaga Local Prison, Navrongo Central Prison, Yeji Camp Prison, Salaga Local Prison, Yendi Local Prison , Kete-krachi Local Prison , Tamale Female Prison and Tamale Central Prison respectively.

The participants were taken through key aspects of the Nelson Mandela Rules and the Bangkok Rules such as respect for dignity, discrimination , risks and needs assessment, dynamic security , rehabilitation , normalization , use of force, classification , prisoners health, food, accommodation and visits among others.
The training forms part of efforts to improve the rights of prisoners , their living condition as well as build the capacity of prison officers in line with international best practices and standards.

The Northern regional commander, DDP. Mr Thompson Otsyokpo in his opening address, stipulated that the service’s vision to attain world class standard and excellent practices in corrections management, calls for paradigm shift on the service to strive towards the incorporation of modern norms in correctional management. DDP. Thompson Otsyokpo in his closing remarks, applauded the American Embassy and the UNODC for their support to the Prisons Service in recent times and also for bringing the workshop to the Northern enclave of the Ghana Prisons Service.

The Project Coordinators of UNODC, Mr. Andres Bascones thanked the Northern Regional Commander of Prisons and the Prisons administration for their collaboration which culminated into the success of the workshop.

In his closing remarks, DDP. Thompson Otsyokpo congratulated all participants for availing themselves for the training, he also asked the participants to be good ambassadors of the Nelson Mandela Rules and also impart the knowledge acquired from the workshop to other officers in their various stations. He presented the certificates of participation to all the participants and brought the workshop to a close.

Present at the workshop were Madam Critoph Sharon, a UK Freelance Human Rights Consultant, Mr. Isaac Tabi Tacho, Swedish Prisons and Probation Service officer, Caleb Agodzo, UNODC Project Administrator and ADP. Augustina Mensah Fiadzo, Officer in Charge of the Gender unit at the Prisons Headquarters.

Report by DSP David Afatsawu,Tamale .

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